In a world that races with time, people adapt their circadian rhythm according to the demands of their lives. In that prospect, social scientists use scholarly yet casual labels to divide the two kinds of people according to their sleeping time. People who sleep early in the evening and wake up early are called ‘Larks’, or most commonly known as ‘early birds’. Those who sleep late in the evening and also wake up late in the day are called ‘Owls’. These chronotypes are based on what time the two birds – namely owls and larks – are active. Owls are known as nocturnal animals while Larks are diurnal animals.
“We should be awake when it's light outside and asleep if it’s already dark outside,” as stated by Tracey Marks, author of Master Your Sleep and an Atlanta-based psychiatrist.
A world that consists mostly of night owls
Researchers from Aachen University in Germany believe just 10% of the total population can be categorized as 'morning people’. Around 20% are true night owls who stay up late at night.
Most people who are classified as night owls are primarily awake during the entirety of the evening due to their occupations. Due to the existence of different time zones, this has become possible. Night owls who live in a world shaped for morning larks can have numerous health consequences. These are for those night owls who need to keep up with the demand of their work, which is set during the day.
According to a study made in the UK, evening people who have work during the day had more risks of having serious health conditions, such as psychological disorders, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory conditions, neurological disorders, etc.
Most of the successful people in the present-time share one common factor
Most of the successful and influential people who are at the top of their game have one similar characteristic and that is they are early birds. Company CEOs, founders, co-founders, and other successful rich people are notoriously early risers.
According to studies, most successful executives start their day at 6 o’clock on Mondays to Fridays and around half of the self-made millionaires wake up 3 hours prior to when their work starts.
Stated below are the times that some of these billionaires wake up to and what their early-morning activities are:
- Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor and philanthropist, wakes up at 6:00 am and starts the day by taking her dogs for a walk followed by tea, meditation, and breakfast.
- Starbucks Exec Howard Schultz’s morning routine is similar to Oprah Winfrey’s except he wakes up at 4:30 am.
- Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is notorious for waking up at 3:45 am every day to skim through his emails, exercise, as well as grabbing a cup of coffee before starting his work.
- Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and Founder, wakes up at 8 in the morning then checks his phone and exercises.
Waking up early in the morning gives people a head start in order to set how their day will begin. This allows them to have a competitive advantage as well.
Now, here are the 6 dynamic reasons why everyone, including nurses, should become a morning lark:
1. Increased Productivity throughout the Day
Starting the day early gives people a mental and physical boost that allows them to be more productive throughout the day. A study entitled ‘Proactive People are Morning People’ from the Journal of Applied Sociology found that early risers are more proactive than their nocturnal counterparts. The study defines proactivity as the willingness and ability to take action to change a situation to one's advantage. Dr. Constantine George of EPITOMEDICAL, a health and wellness center situated in Las Vegas, Nevada, stated that waking up early allows for fewer distractions and allows people to define their goals and reach them.
2. Experience a sense of peace and serenity in the early hours of the day
When most people are still fast asleep and won’t wake up until seven or eight, one can experience the serene atmosphere of the crack of dawn. Accomplishing tasks in a distraction-free environment allows most people to thrive and do better. Obstacles, which include the noise of construction, traffic as well as chatter from the people around, are lesser. This allows people to delve deep into their minds and plan their daily goals better. As opposed to waking up to loud rush hour noises, a person’s mind can be startled and does not allow him or her to have more time in doing productive work.
3. Stress resulting from racing to beat the clock lessens considerably
Performing tasks in a hasty fashion result in having more mistakes. Having less time to prepare in the morning leads to requirements being left at home, rushing late to work, routines are unaccomplished, and many more. Always keep in mind that not all things may go according to plan. This means that sometimes accidents might happen due to the rushed pace of someone’s morning preparation.
For example, spilling coffee on themselves ruins someone’s freshly pressed clothes. This would lead to going back home to change or risk looking like a mess and not presentable to one’s coworkers. All of this would result in being late and other consequences. If someone woke up two to three hours before going to work, they would have more time to prepare at a leisurely pace and have a peace of mind before experiencing the rush hour noises. Less stress leads to less negative health outcomes.
4. Witness the beautiful sunrise
Seeing the dark navy sky gradually turning into hues of pink and orange is quite a sight. This allows the eyes to slowly adapt to the light as opposed to waking up to the glaring brightness of the sun in the late morning. According to most people, it gives them a feeling of serenity before starting the day.
5. Experience better sleep and feeling more energized
The body naturally aligns its circadian rhythm with the sun and waking up before it rises signals the body to start becoming more alert. Waking up early is just one factor for this reason. Routines such as early morning exercises, drinking coffee, and eating breakfast at a slow, leisurely pace, as well as meditation, helps one to become more energized. The morning routines of the aforementioned successful people above consist of these relaxing activities. Having enough energy to go through the day leads to better performances may it be in school or at work. Studies suggest that work performances boost considerably when one is feeling energized.
6. Avoid traffic and see lesser crowds
This one is simply common sense. Most people do not have the luxury of having their homes and workplaces within walking distance. The working hours of the majority do not start until 8 am. Waking up as early as 5 am and traveling to work one hour before it starts allows one to avoid the congested roads and avoid delays. Stress arising from the heavy traffic results in road rage, which in turn can lead to accidents.
Truth to be told, waking up early has is vital and necessary in today’s fast-paced business world. With exercise, proper rest, and a boost of caffeine, the long dragging hours of work seems more bearable. Remember not to force the body into becoming a morning lark abruptly but do it a little bit gradually.